Rhetorical Homologies and Kenneth Burke's Theory of Symbolic Form as a Method in the Critique of Artistic Discourse
The twentieth-century theorist and critic Kenneth Burke insisted that 'literature,' by which he meant any sort of artistic discourse, has rhetorical connections to actual audiences and situations. Explaining such a connection may be difficult when the artistic discourse seems to have little 'real world' relevance, as is true for so much popular film and literature today. A parallel effort to show connections among seemingly unrelated texts and actual experience is the idea of 'homology'. This paper is based on a recent book by the author merging Burke with the idea of homology, focusing specifically on Burke’s book Counter-Statement as an explication of critical methods that is fundamentally homological in nature.
Keywords: Homology, Kenneth Burke, Counter-Statement, Rhetoric, Literature
Professor, Department of Communication Studies, University of Texas-Austin